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Assignment Guidelines: Critical Inquiry Question Workshop

For this activity, you will use the general critical inquiry question for CRIT 602 as your starting point: How will current trends, concerns, and research related to my academic discipline inform the decisions I make about my academic and professional development or personal interests? Essentially, you will be tailoring this question to your own personal, professional, and/or academic context.

With this question as your starting point, develop your own critical inquiry question that you believe will help you identify the information about external factors and trends that will be most relevant to the role you aspire to play in your field. This role can be related to any one of the following:

  • Preparing to enter a career field,
  • Preparing to change careers,
  • Exploring professions associated with your field of study,
  • Preparing for career advancement.
  • Preparing for graduate study,
  • Pursuing a specialized area of academic interest.

Note that this question should be related to gathering information and trends in your field rather than an analytical research question.  You will not be writing a research paper with this critical inquiry question.  You will be tasked with locating and evaluating informational resources and using that information to think strategically about your academic and professional goals.

Next, think about what external audience would be interested in the research findings, analysis, and conclusions resulting from your critical inquiry question. In other words, who outside our immediate CRIT 602 community of practice might have the same critical inquiry question that you do? This hypothetical external audience will become important in upcoming discussion assignments.

For your post:

  1. Write out your critical inquiry question.
  2. Explain how you developed it and/or why you chose it.
  3. Identify a hypothetical audience that would be interested in the research findings, analysis, and conclusions resulting from your critical inquiry question.

Respond to at least one other post using the following criteria:

  1. Is the question open to research?
  2. Will the question have multiple possible answers from multiple sources?
  3. Is the question not a matter of merely locating information?
  4. Can a new question be asked once all of the information is gathered?
  5. Will the question address current trends and conditions outside of higher education impacting your classmate’s field of study?
  6. Does the question align well with your classmate’s interests, goals, and stage of academic and professional development?
  7. Does the question align well with its hypothetical external audience?
Putting Critical Inquiry Question Criteria into Perspective

 

The ability to pose the right questions at the right time in the right way for a given situation–including college course assignments!–is a skill that takes time, practice, and help from others to develop. This workshop is intended to do just that. To put what you’re being asked to do into perspective, a quick Google search for “how to ask the right questions” resulted in 2,380,000,000 hits, including entire books that have been written on the subject and advice intended for people who are already in leadership positions. So, if you’re having trouble coming up with a good question, you’re not alone. Post what you have, and your classmates and your instructor will help you refine it. Another important thing to keep in mind is that critical inquiry questions will often evolve and change as new information is discovered and analyzed.  Take your time on developing this question and doing the necessary research.  It is better to refine your question now, with feedback from your peers, than having to redo your final projects at the end of the semester, or lose this valuable opportunity to reflect on your interests, goals, and trends in the field.

Examples:

  • How has COVID-19 affected Supply Chain Management and will it be necessary for me to pursue specific certifications or trainings?
  • How much has teacher burnout impacted middle school instruction and administration?  (Or, what has been the impact of teacher burnout on educational administrative practice and policy?)
  • How can I use my degree to pivot careers and/or get promoted into X position?
  • What are the current best practices in working with people with PTSD/intellectual differences/trauma and how should that inform the rest of my academic career?
  • How is the debate over the interpretation of U.S. history impacting the social studies curriculum?
  • How can my degree help me build on my experience as an army sergeant as I transition to a civilian career in management?

Note: this is an exploratory research topic- not a strictly scholarly, academic research paper.  Therefore the following are examples of POOR critical inquiry questions for this assignment:

  • What was the impact of propaganda on pre-WWII extremism? (this is not related to trends in your field and their impact/influence on your degree)
  • What should countries have done to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak? (while there is data about countries who fared better during the epidemic, this is generally a speculative question, may not be directly related to your field, and the answers would not necessarily impact your degree plan)
  • What are the benefits of an IEP for elementary school children? (depending on your major, while this may relate to your career, it does not touch on trends in the field- just what an IEP is used for. It might be better to ask: what are the debates surrounding IEPs and how do schools use a team approach to better address the needs of individual children?)

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CRIT 602 Readings and Resources Copyright © 2019 by Granite State College (USNH) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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